The Kashmir problem


The issue is old, not out of date

For the last more than six decades, the people of Kashmir are fighting for their inalienable right of self-determination, as enunciated in the UN resolutions on the Kashmir dispute and repeatedly promised by the Indian leadership in the wake of the unequivocal position taken on the issue by the world body. To support their epic struggle, Pakistan observes Kashmir Solidarity Day on 5th of February every year. The observance of this day is purported to reassure the people of Kashmir that Pakistan has an abiding and unswerving commitment to support their cause and stands by them under all circumstances. It also aims at reminding the world community of its obligation towards the people of Kashmir and to reiterate the fact that their apathy to their sufferings could have disastrous consequences for the world peace. Another objective is to send a clear message to the Indians that no amount of oppression and persecution can keep the people of Kashmir under subjugation for long and prevent the inevitable.

The Indian Independence Act and the partition plan of 3 June, 1947, envisaged the division of the Indian sub-continent into two sovereign states of Pakistan and India. There were more than five hundred princely states in India at the time of partition ruled by the native rulers who enjoyed autonomy in running the affairs of their states. These states were given the option to join any of the two dominions keeping in view the demographic realities and their geographical proximity. Ruler of Hyderabad who was a Muslim wanted to join Pakistan, but the Indian government annexed the state using its military might on the plea that since majority of the population of Hyderabad was Hindu it could not accede to Pakistan. Kashmir having 87 percent Muslim population was ruled by a Sikh ruler. The people of Kashmir were desirous of joining Pakistan due to its geographical proximity and their historic, religious and cultural bonds with the people of Pakistan. However the Indian government coerced the Sikh ruler to join the Indian dominion. That was a classic example of the Indian double standards and its betrayal of the principles enshrined in the partition plan and negation of the reasons it employed to capture Hyderabad.

As soon as the Raja announced Kashmir’s accession to India, the people of Kashmir revolted against the decision. To quell the disturbances and to consolidate its hold on Kashmir, India sent its army to the valley which further fuelled the conflagration and eventually led to war between Pakistan and India. The Indian government approached the UN on 1 January, 1948, for help in the matter. A number of resolutions were adopted by the UN emphasising the need for immediate cessation of hostilities, demarcation of the ceasefire line, demilitarisation of the territory and deciding the question of accession through a plebiscite under the auspices of UN.

With the passing of the resolutions, a ceasefire came into effect and a demarcation line was also drawn which partitioned Kashmir into Azad Kashmir and Indian-held Kashmir. On the question of demilitarisation of the valley, no headway could be made due to the Indian intransigence. The head of the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan Sir Oven Dixon, an eminent Australian jurist, quit his job in protest against non-cooperation by India. However, the Indian leader Jawahar Lal Nehru in the correspondence exchanged with Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and his statements in the Indian parliament kept reiterating his commitment to abide by the UN resolutions and allow the people of Kashmir to settle the question of accession through their free will.

The Indian government actually was never sincere in meeting its international obligations. The first Indian somersault and reneging on the promise for plebiscite came when the Indian government, through the General Council of the Jammu and Kashmir National Conference, had a resolution passed calling for elections to the constituent assembly and settling the question of accession of Kashmir. The UN immediately reacted to this development and through its resolution No 91 rejected the notion that the question of the accession of Kashmir could be disposed of through any arrangement other than the one provided by the UN resolutions on the issue. And when the constituent assembly passed a constitution for the Indian-held Kashmir on November 7, 1956, and formally announced the accession of whole of Kashmir to India ( the basis of Indian claims of Kashmir being an integral part of India), the UN again rejected the move through its resolution No 122. However, from its newly contrived stance on the issue, India continued with its oppressive policies against the people of occupied Kashmir and a hostile posture towards Pakistan, leading to two more wars between the two countries. On each occasion, international intervention led to cessation of hostilities but no headway was made towards the resolution of the Kashmir dispute.

In the wake of 1971 war, India and Pakistan signed Simla Agreement committing themselves to resolve all disputes including Kashmir through bilateral negotiations. But unfortunately the Indians never responded positively to Pakistan’s overtures for peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute. Frustrated by this continued stalemate, the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front launched an armed struggle against the Indian occupation of Kashmir in 1989. India responded by inducting more than seventy thousand troops, who let loose a reign of terror in the valley. The international community which initially recognised the move as a freedom struggle has shown criminal indifference to the cause of Kashmiris after 9/11.

Encouraged by the apathy of the international community, India has also remained evasive on the core issue of Kashmir. The back channel diplomacy and the dialogue process for confidence building measures, started in the ’90s, has also failed to produce results as India has been repeatedly suspending the dialogue process on one pretext or the other. But despite this Indian intransigence Pakistan has not lost faith in the desirability of continuing the dialogue.

The present government deserves unqualified accolades in reviving the dialogue and taking steps towards normalisation of relations between the two countries, without losing focus on the ultimate resolution of the Kashmir conundrum. India must realise that merely concentrating on the peripheral issues is not going to bring peace in the region and improve relations between the two countries. The continued deadlock on the core issue can scuttle the progress on the confidence building measures and normalisation of relations. Non resolution of this issue will undermine the prospects of peace in the region besides adversely impacting economic progress in both the countries.

The writer is an academic.


  1. Pakistan has no case in Kashmir, It must stop provoking people in the name of Islam and mind its own business. It has enough problems and take care of them.Stop spreading terrorism in India and rest of the world.

  2. Wowo… Author needs to know more before opening his mouth on Kashmir.. He is wrting that the ruler of Kashmir was a Sikh… it is wrong.. Raja Hari Singh was a Hindu, not a Sikh. Read UN resolutions carefully before making a mockery of yourself.. the so called UNSC resolution was passed ( in parts, not as a wholesome resolution) under Chapter VI and are non-binding. Also they clearly ask Pakistan to withdraw all your forces, (including do called tribals) which paksitan never did, as a result the preconditions were never obeyed by Pakistan. Pakistan also illegally changed geography of the J&K by annexing Aksai Chin & some other parts, to China. Pakistan also changed demography of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir by settling non-Kashmiris there. UN resolutions are dead and Pakistan murdered them.Now since nothing- diplomacy, politics, wars, proxywars, jehads is working for you, you cant chew the rag of UN.

  3. This column makes me sick. Those of us who study Pakistani history know that Pakistanis don't have a grasp either of the opinions of people in IOK or of the facts. On the other hand, Pakistan's leaders have known since 1965 that many, perhaps most, of the people in the IOK would if given a free choice choose independence or accession to India. Rather than do the right thing and free Pakistanis from their illusions, Z. A. Bhutto proclaimed that the desire of Kashmiris to join Pakistan was an article of faith. Pakistani historians and insiders like Hussein Haqqani have described the huge effort of the ISI to wipe out pro-independence factions in Kashmir by assassination and make all factions subservient to Pakistan and take "pro-Kashmir" terror into its own hands, as seen at Kargil in 1999 and Mumbai in 2008.

    How many more generations must the peoples of South Asia suffer due to Pakistani ambition and willful blindness?

  4. Amazing, none of these indian comments critical of this author have mentioned anything about indian army & goverments atrocities in Kashmir. If Kashmiri muslims want to be part of india, if given the free choice, then good luck te thme, when modi like hindus slaughter them and inturn becomes so popular that he can now entertain the thought of being the next indian PM

  5. The writer's ignorance is astounding!

    He should at least read the UN resolutions. Pakistanis have started believing in the falsehood which has been repeated for a long time. Such writings are going to make solution of the J&K problem even more difficult.

  6. This post has turned itself into a classroom for brainwashed and very unhappy Pakistanis. Only the author seems blissful in ignorance. I will now try my hand at giving the poor innocents some more bits of valuable knowledge.
    Please ask yourself some questions.
    1) Why there are no elected representatives from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) in the country’s Parliament?
    2) Why the citizens of POK are not Pakistani nationals?
    3) Why no one listens to Pakistani arguments in the whole world?
    4) Why no free and fair elections held in POK?
    5) Why Pakistan needs to lobby its J&K case in USA only through an illegal agent (Dr. Fai)?
    6) Why Pakistan murdered the UN resolution about Plebiscite in J&K by refusing to comply with its provisions, but still harps on its implementation by India?
    7) Why the J&K problem is misrepresented even in its official web site?
    8) Why Pakistan needs terrorism to achieve what it desires?
    9) Why Pakistan desires what it does not deserve?
    10) Why Pakistan interferes with the governance in J&K by an elected government?
    11) Why Pakistan cannot behave like a civilized nation?
    After you have found the answers to these questions you will know that you have no right to Kashmir. You must spread the word for the benefit of your brothers and sisters.

    And, the writer must remember, you cannot fool all the people all the time.

    • You are fooling others with your questions. Better come with truth and stop disseminating the minds countymen. Accept others in the region. They have right to live too.

      • I am fooling no one. I have given the questions you must ask yourself. If you do not have the courage to do so, ignore them. If you chose to remain ignorant and brainwashed that is your choice. Best of luck to you.

        But remember. You will never get Kashmir because Kashmiris hate you.

  7. I am personally a victim of the madness of 1947 when the largest human migration in history took place; Hindus and Sikhs moving from West Pakistan to India and Muslims from North India moving in the opposite direction. (Something on similar lines happened in Bengal and East Pakistan as well). I still shudder to think of the human beastliness I was a witness to at the tender age of eleven. It is very important that all efforts are made to avoid any similar situation again.

    If Kashmir were to become a part of Pakistan, the Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists, living there for centuries, will certainly lose their homes, just as the Kashmiri Pundits already have thanks to Pakistani infiltrators. It is a certain recipe for chaos because the people of Jammu and Laddakh will resist it. All these people cannot be thrown to the wolves.

    The Muslims of Kashmir, who are very different from all kinds of Muslims in Pakistan, will never be assimilated in that country, just as Bengali Muslims of East Pakistan could not be, and the Muslims of Baluchistan are finding out now. It is, therefore, in everybody’s interest that Kashmir does not join Pakistan.

    Azaadi, the present popular chant, is also a no-go because Pakistan will gobble up the Valley of Jhelum (Kashmir) in no time. Kashmiris will never be able to defend themselves against the hordes that tried the same in 1947 and 1965. Those supporting Azadi are known paid agents of Pakistan. This cannot be allowed to happen for obvious reasons.

    Because the people of J&K have been a secular society all along with Kashmiriat an important component of their life, it is most reasonable to let them stay as they are. The current mood is not because Indian army is unreasonable, but because Jihadis infiltrating from Pakistan are difficult to identify. The situation will improve with reduced infiltration from across the border.

    I would urge Pakistanis to forget Kashmir and save Pakistan. If you still do not see reason, you will ruin yourself. Best of luck to you all!

  8. Pakistan has tried many times to take Kashmir by military action, but always failed. That means Allah is not with Pakistan. Besides, remember the good old saying, "What you lose on the battle front, you can not get back on the negotiating table. Forget Kashmir, or you will lose Pakistan.

  9. As a Kashmiri Muslim, I have a request for our brothers and sisters in Pakistan. Kindly stop interfering in Kashmir for two reasons.

    1) Kashmiris can see what you have done to your own country. Not a single one of us, leaving aside your paid agents, wants to join Pakistan. There will be no peace here if we were with you.

    2) If you get out of our way, we will be able to force India to agree to Azadi for us. As long as you are involved India will not agree. Please help us if you are Muslims.

    In view of the above I urge you and your Government to please let the part of our state under your control to join us, and let our Kashmiri Pundits to return to their homes.

    Allah will bless you and save your country. Just listen to this request for help from a brother Muslim.

    • Reading your post after its 51st week of publication and commenting on it nevertheless must make you realize how unreasonable your point is that I've been compelled to comment, or surely I wouldnt have.

      Now by the look of your comment, it seems that you belong to Indian administered part of Kashmir. My only response to your naive analysis, 'If you get out of our way, we will be able to force India to agree to Azadi for us. As long as you are involved India will not agree. Please help us if you are Muslims.' would be that it's only because of Pakistan that people around the world still recognize the part of "Kashmir' as there being an ongoing conflict. If it wouldnt have been for Pakistan, no one would have known that there exists such state where there are Indian ongoing atrocities. However serious situation it may be in Pakistan, you cannot deny what Pakistan has done for Kashmir, even if it has Pakistan's own vested interests. So stop living in the fools paradise that it if Pakistan stops its emphasis on Kashmir, you can win it on your own from India.

      And thank you for your blessings for my country in the end. May you succeed in your utopian dream.

  10. It is well known that Pakistan does not give due importance to education, but this writer has not progressed from what he was taught in a primary school/ Madrassa. Does Islam allow spreading of falsehood and white lies, I wonder?

  11. I wonder if most readers have noticed what is printed at the end of this weird article. Hold your breath……………

    "The writer is an academic."

    Where in the whole World, for God's sake, such people get their education; or an apology for education? Should any sensible person be reading this newspaper?

  12. I dont see the logic here. Post 1947 Pakistan has literally become the world's worst country. As of now they are more focussed on solving Afghanistan issues as requested by its Western Masters. They have so many internal issues. Domestic terrorism is at its peak. How can they help Kashmir?

    A dog always chases speeding cars but has no idea what to do with it once it actually catches one. Similiarly Pakistan is chasing Kashmir issue but will not know what to do with it if India ever gives it up.

    Anyways I doubt if anyone wants a a Pakistani passport and Citizenship these days. Many Pakistani's are opting for immigration visa's of US, UK, Canada, Australia etc. Those who cant live comfortably in GCC countries.

  13. Enough is enough now.Both the neighbouring nuclear nations should let the people of Kashmir decide their own destiny….

    • That is exactly what I said. Pakistan should get out of Kashmir. What is called Azad Kashmir should be set free by Pakistan. Infiltration by LeT should stop so that Kashmiris can deal directly with India. India will never agree to Azadi for Kashmir as long as Pakistan is involved.
      If Pakistan is interested in our welfare and happiness, it should leave us alone. We do not need your help in tackling India. May Allah give you the wisdom to see what is right for you and also Kashmir. Amen.

  14. kashmir is a part of pakistan and we all kashmiris are stand with pakistan not for india. we know the terrorist named (bal takhrray) and his team. he want to kill all the muslims in india. and also indian army kills most of kashmiri students to stop the tehreek-e-azadi in kashmir. but we say to all indians that kasmir is a part of pakistan and we fought all our lifs to get independence from india inshallah…………….!

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